Tuberculosis is a common disease found in our country. Most Indians are infected with the TB bacteria early in their life, however they manifest pulmonary tuberculosis only when their immunity declines. Patients who have diabetes, those who consume alcohol, smokers and elderly people are more prone for tuberculosis.
Cough and fever for more than 2 weeks with or without loss of weight and appetite are typical TB symptoms. Diagnosis is usually made with a chest X Ray and sputum test. In certain cases of bronchoscopy and or lung biopsy may be needed.
Treatment usually involves a combination of tablets for six months. Based on the sputum test results if the tuberculosis bacteria is found to be resistant to any of of the first line tablets, a different group of medications will be provided for a longer duration sometimes up to 2 years.
For patients who are from faraway places and are unable to visit regularly for follow up, a referral letter to their closest DOTS provider will be provided for continued care.